KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- If you get an unexpected visit from the police, you might be worried.
But on Thursday, teams of KCK police officers made special stops. They weren’t responding to trouble, but instead, spreading holiday cheer.
The generosity is helping many around the community in need.
“Let me count that,” Officer James Turney said.
That money he was counting Thursday morning wasn’t seized in a drug raid. Instead, it was a pile of Christmas cash totaling $10,000. It was generously gifted by an anonymous local business owner.
The KCK Police Department was given the mission to pass out hundred dollar bills and spread holiday cheer.
“This is a huge deal, man, for people to realize the kinds of folks you’re reaching out and making contact with and helping,” said KCKPD Chief Terry Zeigler.
Their first stop was a knock on the door to a familiar face. Officers know Charlotte Nelson. She’s a mom of seven, who is going through a tough time.
“I want to give this to you to help you out during the Christmas time, and we hope this can help you get caught up on everything you need to get caught up on,” Officer Lightfoot said.
“Thank you! Thank you!” Nelson said.
But the giving was just getting started.
“And if that’s not enough, hopefully this amount will help,” Turney said.
“I can’t -- I don’t deserve this,” Nelson said.
“Yes you do. This is for you,” Turney said.
Nelson has a master’s degree but can’t afford to be a social worker and put her kids in daycare.
“My husband is struggling, trying to support me and everything just feels like it’s falling apart,” she said.
She admits, rent this month still hasn’t been paid, and other bills are piling up.
“This money is going to help you. You know you’re going to do good stuff with this,” the officers said.
“You know, I mean, honestly, I never imagined at this point in my life that I would be at this stage, where I’d need help. It hurts because I want to be giving. I don’t want to have to be in this situation,” Nelson said.
While she was hesitant to take the Christmas cash, Nelson knows a big weight is now lifted.
“This will definitely help get us caught up and breathe,” she said.
The officers know Charlotte has a big heart, and one day, will pay the kindness forward.
“You guys actually, have saved us this season,” Nelson said.
“Well good. That’s what we’re here for. That’s what we want to do,” Lightfoot replied.
Nelson now calls the officers her guardian angels.
But she wasn’t the only one getting a big Christmas surprise. Police also stopped some unsuspecting shoppers.
“Thank you! I could hug you all!” one shopper said.
“Oh my goodness! Are you serious? Oh my God! Thank you! Merry Christmas!” another shopper rewarded with free money said.
FOX 4 even got to take a turn as help to the cheery Christmas cops.
“Hope you guys have a wonderful holiday, and we also want to treat you to a hundred bucks. How’s that?”
“Good Lord Jesus! Hallelujah! Thank you Lord! Can I hug you? Praise Jesus! Merry Christmas to you and your families. This is awesome!” the shopper said.
And we met Donna, a three-time cancer patient who says the cash will help cover mounting medical bills.
“I’m amazed! Absolutely amazed!” Donna said.
Other shoppers chose to use the unexpected gift to bless someone else.
“I’m going to pass it on later! Got a sister in Alabama that needs help so I’ll help her with her phone bill,” the woman said.
Officers also used routine traffic stops to pass out not tickets, but more free money.
“I’m so glad you guys pulled me over! Thank you!” one driver said.
The officers said the experience left them overjoyed, remembering the reason for this Christmas season, that it is truly better to give than to receive.
“It’s amazing just to be able to touch so many people’s hearts. Just to see the expressions on their face. It’s just an amazing thing,” Turney said.